Transportation of cattle meant for slaughter on overloaded trucks has come under the scanner of the Delhi High Court which has sought to know the stand of the Centre and the AAP government on the issue. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice V K Rao also issued notice to the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and the municipal corporation of East Delhi seeking their response to a PIL which has alleged that cattle for slaughter were being transported under “cruel” conditions.
The court had not issued notice in the matter as it wanted to know whether a similar issue was pending in the Supreme Court. The bench was today told by the petitioners that the matter pending in the apex court related to the conditions inside slaughter houses and not the transport of cattle. Agreeing with the petitioner’s submission, the bench sought the replies of all the authorities before the next date of hearing on October 25.
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The petitioners, Saurabh Gupta and Gaurav Gupta, have claimed that cattle were being ferried in violation of the Transport of Animal Rules and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and over half the animals died during the journey. The two, who claim to be animal rights activists, have alleged in their plea that the authorities were turning a blind eye to the violations.
The petition, filed through advocate Anupam Tripathi, has sought directions to the Centre, the Delhi government, AWBI and the corporation to frame guidelines to address the issue. According to the plea, the trucks are filled three to six times beyond the legal limit and as a result 50 per cent of more of such cattle die during every trip. The petitioners have also alleged that the police stations where such crimes are reported were not serious in registering FIRs or taking action against the culprits.